1938 Chevy Coupe Light Painting

1938 Chevy Coupe Light Painting

A while back, I had the opportunity to create this cool 1938 Chevy Coupe light painting. I met the owner of the car, Ron, at the Minnesota Street Rod Association at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. We struck up a nice conversation and a few days later he gave me a call to set a date to light paint his cool street rod.

Oddly enough, I thought that I’d written about this car way back then. I was more than a bit surprised when I recently discovered that I had not done so. So now that we’re all getting some serious spring fever after a really long and tough winter, why not share this cool 1938 Chevrolet Coupe light painting now? Better late than never!

Here’s an image of the car before the light painting photography began.

A 1938 Chevy Coupe before light painting it.

Ron’s street rod. A 1938 Chevy Coupe with a custom lightning bolt paint job.

The Stats

Here’s some of the run down about this 1938 Chevrolet Coupe. A really sweet ride for sure!

1938 Chevrolet Coupe

Color: HOK Violette

Engine: 1957 Chevy 283 V8

Transmission: GM Turbo 350

Suspension Front: 1974 Mustang II with Disc Brakes

Rear:  1969 Chevy Chevelle Posi-Traction

Interior: Blue/Grey Fabric, Bench Seating, VDO gauges,

Hurst Shifter, Boss DVD Stereo w/Sub & Power Amps

And So The Story Goes…

This vehicle was rebuilt by Ron with help from wife Julie, daughter Jacqui, and friend Rich. The project started in August 2003 and finished in September 2004. A lot to do in just 13 months! With a few exceptions (seat/door upholstery & some engine work) all of the work including paint was done by Ron and Co.

The unique paint design was inspired by daughter Jacqui who said: “Let’s do it purple with lightning!”

Well, the rest of the vehicle needed to be completely rebuilt and re-engineered for updated suspension, brakes, and drivetrain. When he started, Ron had a bone stock car with original engine, rust, dents, and dirt from years of sitting in fields, barns, and even 2 months in a flood with water as deep as the seat.

Ron was determined to get it done and drivable as soon as possible once the work began. The parts came from many sources and engine was rebuilt from one in an old truck Ron’s dad had. Sentimental value is a wonderful thing and it purrs like a big kitty now!

Custom Paint Job

The body came off sand blasting, dents pounded, suspension and frame reworked, welding, sanding, grinding, refitting, wiring, plumbing and lots of planning. Until it was finally ready for paint. A color called Violette, from HOK paints, was picked for the purple but now the problem… How to do the lightning?

Big thunderbolts just didn’t feel right. Then a simple idea formed, and from that, a piece of chock was used on the grey under primer to lay out the design. Photos were taken to match the final paint to the design, chock wiped clean, and the purple was sprayed. After it set an hour an airbrush was used for the white lightning. Well, a first time for everything! But the airbrushing went well and after an initial thin crackle was done it was followed by a mist of white for the halo effect. Then the clear top coat was applied and then they waited.

The next morning came and it had worked! Some buffing to a final mirror finish and it was done.

A stunning 1938 Chevy Coupe light painting photograph.

Ron’s beautiful “Violette blue” street rod, a 38 Chevy Coupe.

On The Road Again

And… just in time for Jacqui to drive it daily to high school until snow fell and again in the spring through graduation that year. Of course, besides that school fun, the car has been enjoyed by the entire family with trips to Colorado camping and up to 13,000 ft in the mountains! It’s been all around the local MN state area and 8 times to a big street rod show in Kentucky.

Be it in town or on the road, the 38 Chevy Coupe always gets looks and comments. But best of all is just getting in and going… to the store, or across the USA! Cars are meant to be enjoyed and this one loves being driven. Ron & Julie say it will continue to be on the road for a long time.

What Ron had to say

“Our sincere appreciation to Michael Anderson Photography for the outstanding work on his “Light Painting” photo of our 38 Chevy. It’s a really cool process to have done and the results are awesome.”

Thank You, Michael,

Ron & Julie

So now you know the car’s story! I’ve got a short YouTube video with the steps involved in creating this 1938 Chevy Coupe light painting photograph. Please check it out and feel free to subscribe to our channel too! – M&J

1938 Chevy Coupe Light Painting” – © 2019 Michael Anderson Photography.

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